Death and the Butterfly Effect

Many people laugh when they hear the question does a butterfly flapping its wings in Europe create a tornado in Florida.  This is known as the chaos theory. I believe this because I had to live the Butterfly Effect today.

Yesterday on a beautiful Okanagan morning someone decided to go for a jog along the Kettle Valley Railroad Trail on the West Bench outside of Penticton.

Probably just around the time when the jogger was getting ready to leave his home, a birth was happening. One of the wild/feral mares of the area was giving birth to a beautiful baby boy.  Unfortunately, this miracle was happening right along the KVR where this jogger was heading.

This miracle of life was witnessed by a local resident. The local resident knew how fragile this little life was, still struggling to stand up and figure out what these new limbs were and how to control them. Concerned, she went up to the jogger and asked him if he would please change his course because there was a new life close by and he would frighten the herd.

The jogger assured the concerned person there was nothing to worry about and continued on his way.

Well, dear jogger, YOU had nothing to worry about but your decision that your morning jog was more important than the newborn foal’s safety resulted in his life coming to an sad end. When you jogged by you frightened the herd just as the observer knew you would.

You might even have enjoyed watching them all race down the steep embankment out of your way. But what you did not know was that the foal was not ready for this physical feat and fell, rolling down the embankment ending up in a grape bush where he struggled for at least an hour with those long gangly legs that he had no idea how to control. His mom stood close by encouraging him but helpless to retrieve her son from the clutches of the bush.

The observer, recognizing the danger the foal was in, ran to get help from nearby neighbours who sprang into action.  The foal was extracted from the situation, returned to the pathway and the small rescue group stayed close by, praying for the mom to return with the herd who had all disappeared by the time the rescue group appeared on the scene.

When it was clear the mom and herd were not returning the foal was taken to a small rescue where he was fed, kept warm and an appointment made with a veterinarian to do a check-up. What was unknown was that the death of the foal was already set in motion.

When he rolled down that embankment, he ended up with his head downwards and his little legs heading up the hill. This was the beginning of pneumonia, a fight this small baby would lose.

Despite the best efforts of the rescue it was it was determined by the vet that he had already begun to develop pneumonia from being in the bush for so long with his head going downhill and his legs going uphill until he was retrieved.

Because of this, he did not get the essential colostrum from his mother.  Our veterinarian said that even if we had brought him in yesterday and he was given colostrum and antibiotics his chances would still have been slim.

She did call around and no local vets had any colostrum or plasma so he would have had to wait another 24 hours for her to extract and separate the blood from her gelding and she felt he would die within 6- 12 hours.

She said he had given up, no sucking reflex and was struggling to breath, and the kind thing to do was to euthanize him.  He took his last bottle this morning at 6:30 and laid down and did not drink or stand up again. 

  I take comfort in the fact that he got to know what being loved felt like, he was warm and was given all the food he wanted.

His death was totally unnecessary and could have been prevented if only the jogger had agreed to alter his route to give the small herd and the new life a little longer to recuperate from birth.

Now all of the people who stepped up to save this little life are left with the bitter taste of death and the sadness that all their efforts were not able to counteract the flutter of the butterfly’s wings and the tornado that was brewing in this little creature’s body.

A beautiful being now dead. I hope you enjoyed your morning jog – you were the butterfly of the chaos!

I have heard that with everything that is going on in everyone’s life now that the local trails are like highways with more people than ever, out and about trying to enjoy the spring with the extra time that everyone has.

PLEASE respect the local wildlife, whether that is the wild/feral horses, deer, or any other creature on the trails. This is springtime and births of all sorts are happening, give the moms and babies a wide berth, and allow them the time they need to be welcomed
onto this planet and to be given a chance to explore it!  Please don’t be the chaos that takes a life.

Theresa Nolet O.A.T.S Horse Rescue